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General News of Friday, 3 May 2002

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Ghana needs $2 billion to meet investment in Energy

Mr. Albert Kan Dapaah, Minister of Energy, has observed that Ghana would need about 2 billion dollars in the next three to five years to meet investment requirements in the energy sector. The Minister, however, made it clear that the amount involved could not be borne by the government alone.

Mr. Kan-Dapaa who was addressing a Conference on Energy sector policy framework and programmes, organised jointly by the Ministry of Energy and the School of Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), in Kumasi on Thursday urged members of the public not to waste energy.

The one-day conference was to create a platform for energy experts to interact with the sector Minister and make constructive contributions and comments on the strategic national energy plan.

125 energy experts including lecturers from the KNUST, personnel from the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, the Volta River Authority (VRA), the Energy Commission and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), are attending.

Mr. Kan-Dapaah stressed the need for the adoption of more pragmatic mechanisms at helping to reduce the scandalous waste in the distribution and use of electric powers. "Losses in the ECG distribution network alone are estimated at 25 percent, and is made up of about 10 percent technical and 15 percent non-technical losses," the Minister said.

Mr. Kan-Dapaah stated that what was more worrying was the wastage at the point of consumer end-use, saying "It has been estimated that at the consumer end-use level, wastage in electricity in Ghana may be in the range of 30 percent."

The Minister, however, gave the assurance that the Ministry of Energy in conjunction with the Utility Companies, will this year implement a comprehensive programme to help reduce commercial losses. Professor Kwasi Andam, Dean of the School of Engineering, KNUST, who presided, urged the participants to take the workshop seriously and come out with strategies that could help in the effective development of energy in the country.

Professor E.Y. Sarfo, Pro Vice-Chancellor of KNUST, in a welcoming addressed, called on all stakeholders in the energy sector to contribute their quota in a positive manner to complement government efforts at making energy more affordable and accessible to all.